Eager to remove all traces of Confederate symbols from the Capitol complex, House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller announced Thursday that a display of state flags in the Rayburn House Office Building would be replaced with depictions of state quarters.
“Given the controversy surrounding Confederate imagery, I decided to install a new display,” the Michigan Republican said in a press release . “I am well aware of how many Americans negatively view the Confederate flag, and, personally, I am very sympathetic to these views.”
Miller is directing the Architect of the Capitol to install a reproduction of the commemorative quarters issued by the U.S. Mint representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, according to the release.
“However, I also believe that it is not the business of the federal government to dictate what flag each state flies,” she added. “This is the ‘People’s House’ where each congressional district sends their designated representative to be their voice in the halls of Congress.”
The chairwoman said the quarters would represent “the ideals, landmarks, and people from each state, as well as this nation’s great motto, ‘Out of Many, One.’”
In October , state flags were removed from the Rayburn tunnel after Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, introduced a resolution to remove his state’s flag following the racially motivated shootings in Charleston, South Carolina in June. The event generated renewed debate over the Confederate flag across the country.
The Mississippi flag includes the actual stars and bars of the Confederate battle flag, while other states include the St. Andrew’s Cross or other emblems reflecting previous allegiance to the Confederacy .